From Fred Itua, Abuja
As Nigerians grapple with the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, 22 out of 86 patients currently receiving treatment at various Isolation centres within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), are said to be in critical conditions and only surviving through oxygen at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada.
The development is coming amidst the refusal by the FCT Administration to pay growth workers their allowances. This is despite a recent claims by the Minister of FCT, Muhammad Bello, that over N28 billion was spent on the management of COVID-19 in Abuja.
Confirming the critical condition of the patients, FCT permanent secretary, Adesola Olusade who toured the centres over the weekend, noted that apart from the 22 patients on oxygen, the reports about the places were impressive.
Olusade said while non-critical cases are being managed at home, 86 patients were receiving treatment at both the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) and the Thisday Dome Centres respectively, with zero case at the Idu centre.
The permanent secretary explained that touring the Isolation centres became necessary to ensure that they are adequately operational, in view of the resurgence of the pandemic in the nation’s capital, with evidence of being deadlier.
While he confirmed that FCT Administration was paying attention to the complaints of non-payment of allowances by frontline workers at Thisday Dome, he noted that the centre was just recently transferred from the Federal Ministry of Health to FCT.
He said: “At Gwagwalada, we have about 42, 46 at Thisday Dome , at Idu we have zero. Not all of them are on oxygen. There is no time we will not have the issues of allowance, but as they are rising we address them. It is only recently that this centre was transferred to FCT, and we are making all efforts to address all issues.”
The team leader at UATH Gwagwalada, Dr. Yunusa Thairu, who also confirmed that the second wave of the pandemic has some worrisome severe elements, urged government to provide more oxygen and as well as boost the morale of the frontline workers.
Thairu said: “We have severe and critical cased coming in and the need for oxygenation cannot be over-emphasised . As at today 22 of the patients are on oxygen.”
The Medical Superintendent at the Thisday Dome Centre, Dr. Molokwu Victor, attested to the fact that all categories of frontline workers have not not gotten their due allowances since September, 2020.
Victor noted that while supplies for medicals and other necessary items were adequately taken care of, the issue of allowances was the major albatross to the operations of the centre.
“All categories of staff are being owed their allowances, but the Secretary for health has promised that we should expect something soon, that the FCT Administration is working on it.
“We have been here since September working, both Doctors, nurses, hygienic and maintenance teams have all been here and for four months now, no allowances. This place has just been handed over to FCT last month, all this while it has been the Federal Ministry of Health,” Victor added.